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    Friday, February 13, 1998

    Overland way back of pack

    By CHRIS STEVENSON -- Ottawa Sun

      While the rest of Canada waited to find out if it had lost a medal, speed skater Kevin Overland couldn't steal one on the Olympic oval.
     Skating in the final pair of the men's 1,500 metre, Overland faded in the last turn yesterday and wound up 20th as the four Canadians finished well up the track.
      Not that Overland's task was an easy one. The pair before him -- gold-medal winner Aadne Sondral of Norway and silver-medal winner Ids Postma of the Netherlands -- both broke the world record. So did Rintje Ritsma of the Netherlands, who won the bronze.
     Sondral was clocked in one minute 47.87 seconds, while Postma, who stumbled in the last turn, had a time of 1:48.13. The old record was 1:48.88.
     Steve Elm of Red Deer, Alta., was 25th, Kevin Marshall of Coquitlam, B.C., was 26th and brother Neal Marshall, a last-minute addition to the Olympic team, was 30th.
     Neal Marshall, 28, couldn't compete in the Olympic trials because a cold, on top of his exercise-induced asthma, left his power plant of a body gasping for air. He got his place in the field when Red Deer's Jeremy Wotherspoon gave up his place in the 1,500 to concentrate on the 500 and the 1000.
     "It's very disappointing," Marshall said. "My health has been pretty bad. There's a flu or cold going around the village, though I feel better than I have. My asthma has been aggravated. That's the story of my year.
     "It's disappointing when you don't come close to your best, especially after I was given a second chance to be here."